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Washington Journal

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U.s. 47, Iraq 29, Romney 29, Us 26, Washington 23, Mitt Romney 10, Barack Obama 10, America 9, London 9, Sheila Krumholz 8, Afghanistan 7, New York 7, Florida 7, Steve 6, North Carolina 6, Israel 6, United States 5, Indiana 5, Ron Paul 5, Kentucky 5,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Live morning call-in program with  
   government officials, political leaders, and journalists.  

    July 29, 2012
    7:00 - 10:00am EDT  

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and later nora from the center from a new american security discuss it is future of iraq after u.s. troops are with drawn. >> good morning in what is expected to be the final week for congress before the august recess and the party conventions, the farm bill and the bush era tax cuts will take up much of the debate in the house of representatives, the senate also in session congress expected to recess friday or this weekend. the president back on the campaign trail. meanwhile republican presidential candidate mitt romney is in israel delivers a speech in poland before he returns to the states.
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today marks the 100-day mark, 100 days before the general election with the party conventions getting under way next month and in early september three presidential debates, a vice presidential debate and countless ads on television and in the web. we'll begin with your comments on this campaign. as always we want to hear from you. you can also join the conversation on line. you can join us on facebook or send us an e-mail. let's begin with norl which points out the november 6 elections just 100 day ace way. pointing out that milestone has become something of a misnomer
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in an era when two states will conduct elections strictly through mail. and many states allowing early in-person votic including in ohio in fact in ohio the election will begin 35 days before election day running through november 2 with early voting in that state. that means the voters can head as early as the first tuesday in october. more tee tails on line from roll call.com and the reporting of david trucker. meanwhile the front page of the "washington post."
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based on the visit to london over the weekend and last week with his comments, the dnc issuing this ad which was released on friday. >> mitt romney was hoping his big overseas trip to britain, israel, and poland would get plenty of attention and it is for all the wrong reasons. >> something mitt romney said during our conversation with him here yesterday exploded here in london today. >> there was no pool inside but he was making waves about the
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city's preparations. >> it's a good thing the british do not vote in our elections. romney's audition as an international statesman is off to a rocky start for what he said about the olympic there is on the eve of the big global event. london awoke to romney second guessing its preparation. >> criticism exploded on newspaper headlines. >> the guardian, the time, the telegraph fired off this commentary. >> mitt romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive. >> from the democratic national committee that ad taking aim at mitt rommedni with his stop in london. before coming back to the states on wednesday.
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>> we're a nation of workers and doers and dreamers. we work hard for what we get and all we ask for is that our hard work pays off. i believe that the way you grow the economy is from the middle out. i believe in fighting for the
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middle class because if they're prospering all of us will prosper. that's the idea of america and that's why america is the greatest nation on earth. >> i'm barack obama and i approve this message. >> that's from the obama campaign. we'll hear from the republican national committee in jim. our phone lines are open. 100 days to election day. butler, indiana good morning. >> thanks for take mig call. the thing that boggles my mind is within 100 days to go that you can actually be sitting posing a question to people that quote undecided. if after 3 and a half years of this president shi that you can't make a decision and know who is who and what's what basically to me it's like walking into a grocery store i don't want this, i don't want that. and there's so many people out there that are totally clueless with politics and philosophies of which way the country wants to go by the politicians. so if you don't know within 100
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days to go don't me a favor don't vote and stay home because you're an idiot. caller: good morning. i would like to comment on what the first caller said. you should go vote. you should do that. you have the right to do that. and one of the things i am going to vote for president obama because governor romney he's a very alloof individual. he just flip flops whatever he just does. and you can tell that because when he was over in england, he really made a big butt of himself and people should understand that he will never ever make a good president. host: the headlines in the "washington post."
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host: good morning. welcome to the program. we'll go on to bill in -- actually we'll go to gregory. good morning from wisconsin. caller: i'm just curious to know do you really think there's that many undecided voters? really? host: bleths clear about this. the latest poll indicating that about 45 to 47% are for ppt or
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mitt romney. it means there's 6 to 8% undecided which is a very small number. caller: well, i was just wondering because the article you're reading about the undecided voters i thought there was more undecided than what there really talking about. anyway, i would say those 6% undecided probably are decidedly squsted voters. >> host: why do you say that? caller: well, they're squsted about what the country is being shaped into because of the republicans. host: thanks for the call.
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>> taking aim at the president let's watch. >> to create 3 to 4 million jobs. >> billions were spent in foreign countries. millions went to political insiders. millions more unaccounted for. now your money is gone and so are nearly 500,000 jobs. his plan for a second term? do it again. are you with him? host: back to your calls. three presidential debates one vice presidential debate. of course the party convention which is we will be covering gavel to gavel in late august
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with the republicans in tampa florida and the democrats in north carolina in early september. keith republican line. houston, texas. good morning. caller: good morning. i think the sad part of this whole election process is that what we're seeing in texas right now is this nasty campaign for senate. i'm a republican and i voted republican in that election, i think the presidential election we're going to see the same thing. it's going to be nasty attack ads and it's going to be decide bid what a hand. of states? because soment of the states p like texas were sued by the federal government. i think the choice is clear about who the president should be is mitt romney. it's funny that he started out the first thing she says is the
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mormon doesn't drink coffee. and we've seen under president obama that there have been an attack on the religious freedom of the united states with his so-called obama care, our unemployment is at an all time high since the great depression. our housing is under water. 30% of people's mortgages are under water and i guess the president wants to bail them out too and then we have a $15 trillion debt that we could confiscate money from the richest people in the united states and still couldn't pay off the national debt. so the choice is pretty clear i think the american people are going to speak loud and clearly. host: thanks for this call.
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next is robert from milwaukee. good morning. caller: good morning. first i would like to comment on that ad about the 25 -- $825 bailout. one third of that money was for tax breaks and no one ever said anything about that part. secondly, this election, as you
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well know, the people are trying to suppress voters like in florida, wisconsin, attempted to do it. pennsylvania at the current time. and we know what it's all about. and some of the comments that the republicans are making are very, very i would say border line racist. and we understand that. and let's just be for real. this election is about not only the things that happen during the bush administration which obama is being blamed for currently but we know it's about racism. host: thank you for the call.
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eight questions as the campaign heads into the final months and what topics "washington post" will affect the outcome of campaign 2012. jay is on the phone. good morning. caller: i think there's going to be a big swing with the independents. we really wanted ron paul but that's not going to happen. i think the republicans are failing to really realize that
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all of their phil busters and trying to take away the people that don't have voter ids and just going through florida and purging votes is really going to hurt them in the long run because we really don't want the public to be trashed again and then be deceived with another bush and cheney again because they destroyed this country. they put us so far in the hole. it's sad that they want to keep blaming obama for all these problems that occurred when bush and cheney were in and most of the people know what really happened on this. and if romney gets in it doesn't matter who the vice president is going to be under him. most people i talk to don't want him in because of all his tax breaks, his lies, his deseat and all his foreign accounts. it's ridiculous. that's not being american.
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>> thanks for the call. norl reporting that the house of representatives taking up a series of votes this week on the bush era tax cuts. speaker boehner saying late last week that the democratic tax plan will get a vote in the house also the republican tax plan. of course that is not expected to be signed into law by the president. the president indcailting that the tax cuts should be for mick individuals those make -- middle class individuals. live coverage of the house and senate all this week. gwen is on the phone. good morning. welcome to the program. caller: good morning. my comment is from the famous words of junl judy. mothers know their special children and they keep them close. i'm gathering this from ann even though she is his wife.
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i wish someone would check into his background for his college. the commedge about him being quite the joker in college and pranks. this seems consist wnt his campaign of how he is altering the president's statements on every speech that he has made. this is almost like a special child. host: thanks for the call. the ron paul voters could decide this election if they vote for gary johnson or if they stay home. obama's team taking a gamble going negative. backing away from the theme of hope is the story this morning. and quoting david axelrod it is a different kind of race.
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one of the questions, the presidential debates will they make a difference? and the commission on presidential debates late last week announcing the schedule and themes of each of the debates.
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bill is on the phone, pennsylvania. good morning. welcome to the program. caller: good morning and good morning all the rest of you c-spanners. i think there should be three parties. the republican, democrat, and c-span party. as far as the ron paul supporters, my message and i am one -- my message to all i don't have you is don't vote for this clown romney. i'll set the stage a little bit. i voted for obama. he was the first democrat i ever voted for for pt. i have four sons in their 20s. i didn't feel like seeing john mccain send them to war in iran which is probably where we will be had we had a republican
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president win last time. and the message to the republican party is find a real candidate. this guy romney is -- they said ron paul was unelectable. this guy romney is unelectable. just look at the way he looks at the camera. look at the way he can't disclose anything about his past where his money is his tax forms. you know like you said earlier on the program. the only thing i really know about this guy is that he is rich, he's a mormon and now i know he doesn't like to drink coffee. so again message to the republican party until you get a real candidate, i'm not going out for him. host: thanks for the call. he said the president back at the white house this weekend on the campaign trail stops later this week he is in akron, ohio and on thursday he traveled to florida and virginia. three of the key battleground
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states. next is richard from new hampshire. another battleground state. good morning. caller: i was watching your program i think about three weeks ago and you had a guest on happened to be the celebration of the 46th anniversary of the freedom of information act. and the gentleman represented the sun shine foundation and callers were calling in trying to get information as to the freedom of information act and how to apply to get information about different people and their backgrounds and at one point it came around to the point your guest stated that one way to avoid the freedom of information act was to do pretty much what mitt romney did when he left office. he simply destroyed all of his records so it would become impossible to research any of his time in office. i just wonder if that statement
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was true. and is there any other way to back it up? >> what do you think? do you think the statement was true or not? >> i mean, that's the first time i had ever heard of it. but watching mitt romney on tv and all the ads and everything people are interestd in his financial affairs and he seems to very secretive it wouldn't surprise me. host: let's look at some of the other headlines.
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back to your calls. 100 days before election day. good morning. caller: good morning. first and foremost i would like to say that this election is not about the president. the president has been very, very good. teetering on the level of greatness in all areas outside of dealing with the republican congress.
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so we need to think it's not about the president or what we need to do. it's about who are we going to put in office? i think about the economy which he's done a fairly good job. i think about the oil spill down in louisiana and the first thing that comes to mind is how so many people were running around talking trash. what the president did was immediately assign someone from the military to go and assess that situation. he said we have to stop it first before we can fix it. the same thing with the economy he stopped the bleeding. now if you look at the oil
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spill you don't hear anything about it. practically everybody's been paid. there's almost zero oil out of one of the biggest oil spills ever in history. and the same thing with the economy. he stopped the bleeding and now we're moving to a progressive even though it's slow it's moving in the right direction. now he can get a lot of help from compromisers in congress. so elect people who can give this man a hand. in all other issues he's been great. when he's dealing with the congress and republicans there why is this? the issues are going to come every single day. if it's not about the economy next year it's going to be
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about did he keep us safe. host: thanks for the call. the ten most dangerous liberals. 100 days before election day. what to expect in the final few
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months. good morning. caller: i was just calling in to make a comment. i'm really tired of hearing the democrats put romney down. he is a decent man, has a decent family and has decent more or less. and i think he would make a wonderful president. and most of the people that are calling in are so uneducated they have no idea what they're even talking about. and with that i'll just say good evening. host: and good morning to you.
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as we look back at 2008 one of the moments that defined the race and continued to define the presidency, the issue of taxes. john mccain brought up the issue of joe the plummer. joe wants to buy the business that he has been in for all these years worked 10, 12 hours a day and he wanted to buy the business but he looked at your tax plan and he saw that he was going to pay much higher taxes. you were going to put him in a higher tax bracket which was going to increase his taxes. which was going to cause him not to be able to employ people. which joe was trying to realize the american dream. now senator obama talks about the very, very rich.
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joe, i want to tell you, i'll not only help you buy that business that you worked your whole life for and be able -- and i'll keep your taxes low and provide available and affordable health care for you and your employees and i will not have, i will a -- i will not stand for a tax increase on small business income. 50% of small business income taxes happened. that is 16 million jobs in america. what you want to do to joe the plumber is have their taxes increase and not be able to realize the american dream of owning your own business. >> let me tell you what i am actually going to do. we have differences in tax policy. we both want to cut taxes. the difference is who we wt to cut them for.
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senator mccain wants to provide $200 billion of additional tax breaks to some of the wealthiest corporations in america. exxon mobile would get an additional $4 billion in tax breaks. i want to provide a tax cut for 95% of working americans. 95%. if you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see your income tax go up, a payroll tax, not one dime. host: and the c-span video library, the 2008 debate. similar issues in 2012. 100 days to go before election day. we are asking about this campaign and the campaign to follow over the next few months. host: "the washington post" --
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if the president loses, here is why. host: joe is on the phone for our independent line. good morning. caller: hello, good morning. i am watching all of the comments and i wanted to add some facts. number one, from november of 2008 until january of 2009, nobody was focusing on anything except the impending global depression that was about to hit the u.s. and the rest of the world. barack obama rolled up his sleeves and went to work on that. he turned the global depression into fairly mild recession. he has to get a lot of deficit spending up to save the american
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auto industry. to prevent the banks from dying. he succeeded. when -- it is important to mention that mr. obama has had affordable health care in an age when 70% of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses. he has say to the american auto industry. he has killed osama bin laden. he has had a lot of accomplishments. the conservatives that say all this stuff -- they were not complaining when george bush was imposing unfunded tax cuts and wars. no complaints. this gentleman took control of deficit spending. nobody complained when bush was doing it.
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there is a double standard. i hope everybody considers that. host: thanks for the call. here is this in the latest edition of "time" magazine or you can go to time.com. the president addressed the same gathering. both of the speeches are on our website at c-span.org. jesse jackson jr. has been admitted to the mayo clinic in rochester, minnesota for treatment of depression and other issues. host: the story was from "roll- call." good morning. welcome to the program. caller: good morning, steve. and fellow folks.
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the issues of guns and taxes will still be issues proper by the republicans. everybody was working, guns in texas would still be an issue. if we did not owe any money, if there was no debt, the money that is being spent on nuclear weapons and guns -- mcgovern was the first person i voted for for president. the bottom line is that when rachel carson was writing about this, it is the environment's security. mother nature is worried about her security as far as fixing things and not tearing down
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things and polluting things. most people want clean water and no pot holes when they are driving down a road or on a bike trail. aaa says we spend $500 per year on that. >> -- host: thank you. your listening or just turning in, we are focusing on the 100 a mark before the general election. also, the congressional elections. "the hill" reporting on congressman dave camp undergoing treatment for cancer. this was discovered during a physical. host: gary has this point on twitter --
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host: again, "the washington post" with questions as the campaign heads into final months. will the conventions matter? negative campaigns. justice antonin scalia is our guest tonight on "q&a." good morning. welcome to the program. caller: i think mitt romney is the man because he knows how to create jobs. he has created jobs. obama said the buck stops here. well, you know, on the golf course 100 times or more in his presidency, not looking for the jobs.
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[inaudible] that is all i have to say. host: thank you. sorry for the interruption. thank you for the call. independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, steve. where do i start? i won my freedom back. i will not get that with the ndaa. also, the american people have been duped for watching tv and they believe that they have been forced into this paradigm that they have to vote into. that is something that is a fact. ron paul actually won iowa. they stole that for him -- from him. the cabrito maddow and -- looked up rachel maddow and she admits
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it. everybody thinks they are stuck in the rug. they need to get out of it. god bless you. thank you. host: ago the washington post" focusing on syria. the obama administration is warning syrian opposition forces not to completely disband president assad security and government apparatus. host: julie is on the phone from ohio. 100 days before election day. good morning, julie. caller: good morning. i am so happy i can be on the air. there are so many things i could
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talk about. i am a world war ii will be. i can go back a long way. i would like to start out with ohio. what bush did to the u.s. look up their record. they're trying to take down everything that we have here. property taxes will go up. schools are in trouble. go back to all of the kkk movement in this area that is forming in the u.s. it actually belongs -- bush was still running the country.
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the transportation act will not get passed because bush told him -- they are running the country. if they get romney in there, he will not run the country, bush will. host: okay. one of our viewers saying -- a new book we featured on "book tv" has this piece in "the washington post." host: he looks at his religion and birth certificate and whether or not he is a u.s. citizen. he takes those issues on hand. danny is on the phone from north carolina. good morning. caller: yes, sir. i am glad to be on here.
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one of the things that is bothering me is the christians have laid back and are not standing up. this country was founded on the word of god. everything that has been for christians, obama has come in and turned it around. abortion your homosexuality. man can marry men. that is not what our culture is based on. the thing that bothers me is he has not done a single thing. he has spent more money than any other president put together. then it, here it is -- he starts running hard to do something or say he will do something, just like they did about the gas.
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they said president bush was in the hole. gas was $1.49 when george bush got out. they have the advertisements that obama would pay for gas. i do not know if you have been to the pump, but it is $4 right now. obama has done nothing but spend more money and put us in more debt and more spiritually condemning us as christians. christians have no right to do more or say so because he has turned it around. wake up, america. we do not need another four years of this president. he is blowing us away with his ideas of how we should be americans. host: thank you . one of our viewers saying --
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host: here is a piece inside "the new york times." host: keith is on the phone from florida. good morning. good morning to you. caller: good morning, steve. i am concerned about the trajectory of the country. this is the greatest country in the world. i'm a recent citizen. i'm concerned about the trajectory of the country. .e're busy there is no time to digest the facts.
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i do not understand the economic model -- poor people realize if you work hard, you will be able to earn enough and go to college and own a home. that economic model has changed. coolest changed it? politicians. they're not willing to leave the country. -- leads the country. they're looking out for the people who are willing to provide them with financial support they need in order to push forward. host: thank you for the call. justice york on our twitter page -- host: coming up in a few minutes, we will continue talking about this presidential
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election with michael bocian and ed goes. later, we will talk about superpac. she is with the center for responsive politics. first, here are the issues coming up on sunday morning. c-span radio carries the sunday shows every day. in the studio, nancy calo. good morning. >> good morning. three years of the network tv talk shows here on c-span radio. topics today include presidential politics and defense cuts and the congressional agenda. today and next sunday, "meet the press" is pre-empted due to nbc's coverage of the olympics. it returns august 12. "this week" guests include a senior adviser for obama and a
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senior adviser to the romney campaign. fox news sunday welcomes supreme court justice antonin scalia. "state of the union" hosts dick durbin. he is a democrat. new hampshire republican senator, also. "face the nation" talks with penn state president on the fallout from the jerry sandusky child sex abuse case. that is followed by a panel discussion. sandra day o'connor. network talk shows rearing on c- span radio are brought to you as a public service. at 1:00 p.m. begin eastern with abc "this week." listen to them all on c-span radio on 90.1 fm here in the washington area, nationwide on xm satellite radio at 119.
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listen on you're black. . download at -- tao mota us as an iphone act or go online to c- span.org. >> the political parties are holding their platform hearings in advance of the summer convention. democrats hold hearings in minnesota this weekend followed by their final platform recommendations in detroit. in august, republican start their platform process at the convention site in florida. the coverage of the party conventions continues august 10 with a reform party in philadelphia followed by the republican national convention with live gavel-to-gavel coverage beginning monday, august 27. the democratic national convention on september 3. >> we did not begin as a city in kentucky. there was only a fake nagin -- native american area and later, a county.
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we began in 1778. >> next weekend, join "book tv" and c-span's local content vehicles from louisville, ky. literary life with "book tv" on mitch mcconnell and offered on rebuilding american politics, the internet revolution. sunday at 5:00 p.m. eastern on "american history tv," three weeks of plantation would be key in shaping lincoln's views on slavery. to were the plantation today. also, the heyday of the ohio river. take a look on the belle of louisville. once a month, the local content vehicles explore the history and literary life of cities across the country. >> "washington journal"
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continues. host: our roundtable focusing on presidential politics. 100 days before the election. michael bocian is a democratic strategist. good morning. ed goes is a republican strategist. let me begin with the peace that was out about mitt romney. one of the tabloids calling it mixed with a rocky start, even by some republican strategists. they cannot figure out why mitt romney said what he did. guest: you look at what he said, it is understandable. saying it when he said it, there are questions on that. it did not have the front pages. i did not build it. even though the obama campaign
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tried to respond and restate, it they got off -- it got off the front page. that was the one thing they accomplished. finally, we have romney saying something. perhaps we should not have said that. host: we did not build that is something that your party will continue to pounce on. does that hurt you? guest: coming off the front pages? no, because it was out there for two weeks. in terms of our -- was he checking the box in terms of this is what the campaign does? was he trying to raise his
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credibility in terms of foreign affairs? maybe there is harm done on the front end. we will have to see how the trip ends. host: a lot of comparisons to four years ago when barack obama traveled to europe, as well. he visited berlin in afghanistan. guest: it was an important trip. you had questions about his experience and ability to deal with foreign policy. he went to europe and there was a big crowd. i think this time, mitt romney was trying to check off the box but look presidential. it has not succeeded. it is a deal breaker where people will not remember it. guest: i agree with everything that you say in terms of it was
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seen as a great trip. numbers) after the trip because it was seen by the american public as him doing a victory lap. hopefully, at it will not have this sort of effect in terms of mitt romney's trib. in terms of the big defense and speaking to foreign voters as opposed to american voters. it will be interesting to see what happens to the numbers when the numbers have been stuck at the same place for two once. host: of the issues that continues to come up is the likability factor. who do you want to have a beer with? who do you feel comfortable with? "the washington post" saying one of the problems mitt romney is facing is that voters like the president more than mitt romney. guest: that is true of the british press.
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i think the likability saying is the fool's gold of the democrats. why they have been talking about the issue -- mitt romney is tied. the president is that a 47% to 44%. if you look at the average, and he is three points more favorable in terms of questions we ask in polling. that does not bring up the whole factor. we've looked -- 20% of the people approve of the president, but disapproved of the -- disapproved of the jobs he did, but approved of him personally. they said they would not vote to reelect him. 6% said they were. there is fool's gold of that group of voters. they may say they like him, but
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they do not like the jobs he is doing. this becomes an election about liking the jobs he is doing. host: let me share with you one of the moments from an 18 minute interview with mitt romney. the nbc news anchor asked this question about mitt romney's background. [video clip] >> this happened on a "meet the press." this is not dead. i want to get your reaction. what is relevant is to the guy is. he has an amazing personal story. his family was really an exodus story going across the west. poverty . building an empire. he cannot talk about it because it involves more ominous and. he is a decent guy. for some reason, he is unwilling to talk about it. he is a hit man. are you a hit man?
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[laughter] >> no. i am happy to talk about my heritage. my dad was born in mexico. my dad at age five or six came back to the u.s. with his family. they went broke multiple times. his dad was a contractor. my dad did not complete college. he was head in a car company and a governor. it is a remarkable story. i am very proud of my heritage. i am a member of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. some call that the mormon church. that is fine. i will talk about my experiences. they have helped shape my perspective. we try to give 10% of our time to service in that community. those things have enriched our lives. they have given us perspectives that go beyond the group of friends we might have otherwise
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had. instead, they bring us into homes were people face very difficult challenges. it has given me a sense of what other people are experiencing and a desire to make a difference in other people's lives. given the experience i have had, that is what i want to help people. people in america need help. host: ed goes, that question gets to one of the core issues facing the romney campaign. who is he? why should we vote for him? guest: yes. he has come out of the primary process. it is more focused on where you stand on the issues and what he represents. this is the transition time where we bring more of that to the surface. i was reading some of these public polling questions of the day drive me through the roof. there was a question recently
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about who would you rather sit next to on a plane right? mitt romney or barack obama? it was overwhelmingly barack obama. that is not the question in this election. the question is who will do a better job to move this country and move personal lives to a point where they are doing better and have a better future. host: this is from "the washington post." we get so caught up in this day to day cable chatter. host: this headline from cnn. this issue is something voters
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will be voting on. guest: it is a marathon. every mile will not decide the election, but opinions are foreign. i do not think that romney's religion is a central problem. in 2008, the american electorate showed they would vote for people who were unconventional. i think the romney problem stems from inability to connect and understand people. the interview that did not get a lot of attention but what was interesting was when he was hobbies.out his wife's cop her horse is in the land. he said he did not even know what day it was at. the normal voter looks for how a husband answers. that is the problem he has. he does not relate to people as
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a person or a human. he relates to people in getting the job done. guest: if you ask a key question, who will do a better job? in every poll, mitt romney leads by double digits.
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so all those components lead to a close race. this is exactly what we're talking about here which is everyone is going to get wrapped up in the day to day and it's going to be some good brace for barack obama, some good gays for mitt romney but i believe the last two weeks of the election, the race will be where it is today, a dead heat. >> ed goeas and mike bocian, a major role for the independents, we'll look at the debates, and bob, from hairselwood, missouri, good morning. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i don't know why people say that romney is hard to get to know, or that he's hiding
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something. certainly he's hiding something, he's hideing millions in off shore accounts. i don't know what people have to do to make a decision of a quality of a character of a man other than that, despite the fact that his $77,000 tax deduction for a horse, and his statement that he hikes to fire people, runs bain capital, loaded companies down with debt, then siphon the money off, then bankrupt the companies. how much more do you have to know about a man's character. i must be one of those uneducated people that the prior caller was referring to when she called mitt romney a decent man. does a decent man have offshore accounts for a tax dodge? >> host: thank you for the call and steve harrison wearing in as well, romney
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can get the job done, yeah, and send it to china? guest: you're taking minor parts. the fact of the matter is, if you look at president clinton, he acknowledges he has a good record in terms of creating jobs. the bottom line figure is net 100,000 jobs in the years with bain capital that he created, but what the last caller reminds me of is he is listening to the obama campaign, he is listening to the obama spots. one of the things that is i think somewhat frustrating for the obama campaign is where the reference you made of mitt romney spending a lot of money in the campaign, that was money spent during the primary, not money spent in the last two months. the obama campaign has spent a tremendous amount of money, $38 million on advertising in june and didn't move the dial one itch on bain capital because they're putting out this information but most people understand they're takeing it out of context, the obama campaign likes to say about you didn't build
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it, they're taking it out of context, they're building a negative campaign against mitt romney and the reason why the numbers aren't moving is people don't want to hear the negative attack on mitt romney. what people want to hear is what is he doing to -- going to do different than the last 3 1/2 years to actually make our economy better. guest: romney is actually not defending his records. none of husband ads boast about -- if he's been such a great businessman, you think he'd be proud to run on this and the questions are oh, i wasn't there at the time, it's not something that he's running on which i think he's going to have to. guest: some of the answers aren't being reported michael. the gentleman talks about the 77,000 tax deduction. that wasn't what he took. that's what he could have taken. that's what he could have taken but what he did take is a couple thousand dollars because the horse, that the obama got embarrassed about, was used for the
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rehabilitation with his wife for the illness she had, so they're embarrassed to be out there putting out this information when in fact it's false. they're taking a piece, twisting it, putting it on the air and in terms of the romney campaign, i think the biggest surprise we're going to have in this campaign is by the end of the summer, because of the spending of the obama campaign and the romney campaign being very disciplined, romney is going to have more cash on hand at the end of the summer going into the fall campaign than the obama campaign, and no one a year ago would have thought that would have had. host: let me follow up. at what point is there a law of diminishing returns when it comes to advertising, and we look in the washington d.c. area, virginia is one of the battleground states and we're seeing the ads over and over again, the same is true in new mexico and colorado, florida, iowa, ohio, pennsylvania. at what point do those ads become less effective? guest: in congressional and
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senate races, there's almost no return. you'd almost rather be running more the advertisements because they can have some impact but they don't on their own change the race. what i think is interesting is sort of the not the back and forth but romney is not running on his record as governor, his record at baip, he's simply running as i'm not obama and i don't think obama is doing a good job. i think for him to have a chance and close the favorability gap and close the very small but real obama lead that's been will consistently across the polls, he's going to have some record, some alternative of why he should be president, not simply why it's time for obama to go. host: you both referred to polls. let me ask you, michael bocian, polls of voters is boc us, the only polls that count, that of likely voters. guest: i think that's right. the challenge is we don't always know with certainty who the electorate, everybody their own model.
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guest: wi say that those of us that are doing likely polls like we do, and i know you do with many of your polls, likely voter screen we're doing is taking out those people who say they definitely will not vote in this election, when is about 6 percent or 7 percent. it's not getting down to the 70 percent, 72 percent, of voters that will vote in this election. but it's also missing -- and you mentioned independents earlier. i've just been amazed at this whole discussion about independent voters because every story focuses on independent voters in terms of the obama independent voters and what are they going to do in this election. he only won independents by 7 percent, first of all, second of all, two-thirds of the independent voters vote in every presidential election, one third vote occasionally. they vote when they're motivated to vote in that election. they're the angry independents and i guarantee you the angry independents of
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2012 are not those of 2008 and that's what the ne media is. s are missing, how do you focus in on the independents that are going to truly participate in this election. host: want to share with you a couple of the campaign ads, beginning are the romney -- with the romney campaign, before the naacp. here's that spot: >> governor romney's speech hit the nail on the head. we have a nation that's suffering economically. he wants to provide an equal opportunity to every american. >> americans of every background are asking when this economy will finally recover. and you in particular are entitled to an answer -- to an answer. >> we need in our next president someone who will be honest, open and transparent. >> if i'm president, job one for me will be creating jobs. let me say that again. my policy will be, number one, create jobs for the american people. i do not have a hidden agenda
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>> >> do these five things. open up energy. expand trade. cut the growth of government. focus on better educating tomorrow's workers today, and restore economic freedom and jobs will come back to america and wages will rise again. we have got to do it. >> what we need is a leader that can see the problems. we need mitt romney. and host: in 2008 the president got 92 percent of the african-american vote. we should point out mitt romney did accept a couple of boos in front of the naacp, that was edited out of this. nothing wrong with that, but for the record. what's going on here, what is this ad trying to go after? guest: again, i think at the end of the day, both
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presidential candidates have to campaign to all americans. that's what the office is about, that's what the campaign is about and that's what they have to touch at some point in the campaign. i think this spot does a pretty effective spot. i will say this is a web spot, this is not one that's going to be going on the air. in fact i was trying to calculate the time. it looked like it was about a minute and a half in terms of time. it would never be put on the air, unfortunately, because it would cost too much. but one of the things you are seeing is a lot of battle back and forth on the web spots, is that i think more and more is being seen out there. not only in terms of people going to the websites for information, but institutions like yourself that actually put these spots and lets people see them. host: michelle has this point from the ohio market, we mute the ads at this point. it is a running joke around
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these parts, wasting money. ed from lawrenceville, georgia, republican line, good morning. caller: good morning. what i have problems with is all the things that obama is doing that nobody is talking about, like he wouldn't do the pipeline and now the chinese are going to buy that oil company and we're going to end up buying the oil from the chinese. and he's going to close down about 150 of our cold powered electric plants. nobody is talking about that. also prices of everything are going to go up, taxes are going to go up, and everything is being held up in the senate because obama told reid not to pass any bills, don't do anything. host: your response? >> guest: two points. on the fact on the energy area, the obama administration has opened up more domestic drilling than previous administrations, so at the starting point they have a short term plan of
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expanding production of energy, they have a long term plan of moving our run to running on clean energy, which i think is wildly popular, it's what the american people would like to see, and it's where they're headed. so yeah, i think that -- i would characterize their energy plan a little differently than that was characterized there. host: let me go back to charlie cook, one of the arbiters of balance when it comes to looking at elections and politics, he writes in his column for the national journal, romney's anchor, again, the negative impression of mitt romney, preventing him from fully capitalizing on this sluggish economy. when you say that voters aren't paying attention, many people remember when john kerry was painted as a swift vote veterans for truth and was for or against it and that stayed in voters' minds through the election and 2004 could be compared with 2012 with a sitting president running for reelection. >> first of all, i didn't say they weren't listening. i said they weren't moving.
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there's a difference between the two. i do believe, again, that there's a lot of overemphasis on the issue of the likability. they're going there because that's all they really have left in terms of a contrast. but as i said, the -- >> host: the obama campaign. guest guest the obama campaign, the favorable-unfavorable for the two candidates are three points difference at this point, they're basically both as favorable as unfavorable and when you look at obama's numbers it's net strongly unfavorly bigger than a strongly favorable on the numbers, so i think a lot of this favorability, this fool's gold for the democrats is what's being talked about ever since the primaries, they kind of grabbed on to it and they're going to continue to drive it home. i think the frustration quite frankly for some of the news media and whether charie cook -- yes he is very balanced and i have a great deal of respect for him -- but they also have to file stories and
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i think one of the problems they're having is they're seeing no impact on many of the stories that they're writing about, and they are coming up to in the next 30 days -- they're coming up -- or 40 days, they're coming up to the last 60 days of the campaign, where the message from the written press, from the free press, will be vast ly overshouted by the messages from the two campaigns. so their ability to impact the messages in the campaign are coming into a time where it's much more limited and i'm planning them to be much, much more frustrated, both on that the right and on the left in terms of the news media, that we want to be more of a player in this campaign than what it looks like we will be. guest: i would say, i actually agree on the stability of the numbers. both candidates have had their unfavorables at about 45 percent, the difference is obama's favorable is about 47 and the average for romney is about 40. romney has an improvement after the republican primary and it's been in place for
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months. the favorability in july is not all that predictive of who wins the election but favorability post september is, so if romney doesn't change in -- in every election since 176, the candidate who had favorability post september won the election so romney has a few months to change things but if he doesn't change things, wee keep the stability, that works to obama's advantage. guest: what we're going to see, it is going to be driven by the economy and you have 40 percent of the country today in poll after poll saying that barack obama has made the economy better. in our polling, he's getting 91 percent of that vote. you have 40 percent saying he's made the economy worse, romney is getting 91 percent of that vote. you have 20 percent in the middle who says he's had no impact. that 20 percent, romney is winning in our polling by 46- 44, dead even race, most like the numbers nationally. that's where you're going to see this race move. is that at some point, that
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20 percent, if they come to the conclusion that, in fact, barack obama has made things better, they're going to move towards barack obama. what is more likely in a campaign like this, very much like the 1980 campaign, is that 20 percent is going to come to the conclusion he hasn't made things better or had no impact. they're going to -- not going to walk in on election day and vote for barack obama, and that's what this race is going to come down and that's where you can see a late surge in this campaign that historically as the numbers continue to look like 1980, ronald reagan wasn't the be all to end all candidate in 1980. he became that in '84. you saw that same collapse in his direction. and i think the potential for that to happen in this election is also there. host: ed goeas, mike bocian, democratic pollster here a the table, our lines are open, give us a call as we look at campaign 2012, 100 days before election day. next is a viewer from brooklyn, new york, oca is on
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the phone, our independent line, good morning, welcome to the program. oca. caller: good morning. look, the problem i really have with books on parties, it's not really about barack obama or mitt romney. we should concentrate on ask the people in congress who has no -- who have no morals with their behavior and attitude of no compromise and moving the country forward. host: and in fact, congressional approval overall is in the single digits. the high single digits, 8 percent, 9 percent, approve of what congress is doing. guest: i actually think the biggest struggle the obama administration has had is i don't think they anticipated how difficult it would be to get people to agree. i mean, i think they viewed the president as somebody who
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was transformational and that he is somebody who could work with both parties but the fact is, from day one, the senate leader, mitch mcconnell, said that his number one goal was to make obama a one-termer. it's not just one party. this is the way washington is now. there is a greater focus on defeating the other side than on passing good legislation or compromise. host: i want to go back to the polls and get your reaction, the latest "wall street journal," 60 percent of those surveyed, saying the country is headed in the wrong direction. how do you win with those numbers? guest: shouldn't. the reality is the environmental dynamics here, the 60 percent wrong direction, the economy not where anybody would want it to be. you shouldn't be able to win that election. you just shouldn't. yet, obama in the national polls has a small lead and the other story that's amazing, if you look at the swing states, obama is doing better than in the swing states than nationally. the only two states that he won in 2008 that he's losing are indiana, which he's very
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unlikely to win and north carolina, where it's about even, he's maybe down a point or two. romney cannot win unless he wins ohio or the northwestern states, where he's not doing well at all. guest: two things for barack obama, he didn't have a primary and republicans have a contested primary. the big surprise is everyone roll he'd behind romney once he got the nomination wrapped up. he's winning with republicans by a bigger margin than obama wins with democrats and the other thing is he's going to have a billion dollars, he's going to have so much more than the other side that he'll be able to hammer down this 2-1 margin in terms of right direction, wrong track. all the numbers now are basically stacked against barack obama. and i know you keep coming back and saying, you know, lead by a small margin. fact of the matter is that small margin is one percentage points, average of
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all the polls. fact of the matter is if you look at the likely voter polls which you said earlier, i believe, a better thing to look at this point -- at this point in the campaign, through the campaign, romney is actually winning with those. fact of the matter is he is actually leading in a few more states. he's now leading in missouri, he's now very close in virginia. every single one of the target states is within the margin of error. and every one of the target states, barack obama is under 50 percent. so you know, talking about the numbers and talking about the reality of the numbers are two different things. within the margin of error, below 50 percent should be extremely disconcerning to the obama campaign. host: david is on the phone, clinton township, republican line, good morning. caller: good morning. i got a mouthful of food! good morning gentlemen, good morning american people. i am so pumped up about this election, i'm shaking, okay? especially about our vice
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president that romney might pick, like rob portman. most important thing to republicans now is our vice president would really, really give romney a boost. rob portman, from indiana, in the black, okay, he was a wonderful governor of indiana, he is a member -- i don't know if he's a chairman, but he's a member of the defense committee. host: i'll stop you there. rob portman, senator from ohio, but your comment. guest: him specifically but also the running mate that we'll see presumably after the olympics. guest: typically you can only lose an election with a vice presidential nominee or make things worse, which was done in 2008. not that that mccain would have won that, the vice president nominee doesn't provide much of a boost. there's a short term boost. i do think ohio, it's very
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hard for romney to win without winning ohio so portman would be a logical pick in many ways. he doesn't bring a whole lot in the sense of ohio, he's not terribly well known in his state, but i actually think there is real intelligence to pick, where if you can get a point in ohio, that would be very important for him. guest: the two premiseses -- premises is do no harm, don't pick anybody that brings harm to you and pick someone who could in fact serve if called upon if something were to happen to the president and i think in both cases rob portman certainly meets both of those. i also think he meets another. we are facing, as we've been talking about here in washington in recent weeks, we're facing an click cliff after this election. there is almost a perfect storm of click problems that this country is going to be facing. we had a real opportunity, a real opportunity with the
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supercommittee to actually go past the not being able to agree on anything, to not need the 60 percent in the senate in terms of agreements and not face a lot of amended decisions, and the supercommittee ended up falling apart and not getting its job done, which is part of the reason we reached this economic cliff. i actually think rob portman would be an interesting and dynamic speaker in terms of what went wrong in items of that supercommittee and more specifically, what the president did to back off showing any leadership in terms of push thank supercommittee to do the right thing, so i think he's an excellent choice. host: jessica says hopefully the people will remember how congress refused to work with the president on all issues, hoping to make him look bad. mary on the phone from biloxi, mississippi, democrats' line, good morning. caller: good morning. i'm calling in regard to the caller from north carolina. i think that republican
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christians need to remember that this country was founded on religious freedom, not christianty. one of the founding fathers, himes solomon, was jewish, not christian, benjamin said light houses were more useful than christian, i'm not here to say that christianty is a bad thing, but this country was founded on religious freedom. the candidate that isn't a christian is mitt romney. republican christians need to realize that. when they say things like the caller did from north carolina. obama is moving this country in the right direction. he saved the banks, he saved the car industry, there have been unprecedented stimulus packages to build infrastructure in this country, he saved education by implementing the common core state standard, no child left behind was disastrous, and the bottom line was all of this is obama is the one that got usama bin laden. and people need to realize we're a safer country, the
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economy that he was given by george bush, with two unprecedented wars, was disastrous. host: thank you mary. ed goeas. guest: i also always have to smile a little bit and not to disparage the last caller, but every campaign has strengths and weaknesses, and that's what campaigns are all about. i think what we have found so far in the race, with this race being very close, is that the democrats have coalesced behind barack obama he's winning democrats by that 83 points. republicans have coalesced behind mitt romney. he's winning republicans by net 88 points. what is interesting is you see the two campaigns throughout their strengths and the weakness of their opponent, which is what a campaign is all about, is how that base vote latches on to the latest piece of information on the reason to
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be against the guy on the other side. and that's what you hear in a lot of these calls, is people kind of latching on to bits and pieces of information, on bits and pieces of strengths and weaknesses on the two candidates. host: and one of the strengths mitt romney is banking on is the suck in the private sector. over 1000 adults, a margin of error plus or minus 4 percent but based on this one question, would mitt romney's business background, including his head of bain capital, cause him to make good or bad decisions as president in dealing with economic problems, 63 percent said yes, good decisions, 29 percent said bad. guest: well, so i mean, it leads to the question of why is he not running on that record at bain capital. he's not only not running on t. he's running away from it. he is actively running away from that record. without question. so i think it's incumbent upon him to prove those numbers right. the reality isost voters are trying to hear the true story of what his business
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experience is and it is one based on outsourcing american jobs and making great profits in doing so. if that's the record he wants to run on, he should be running on it. i just don't see it helping him. guest: and we have 100 days left and obama is massively outspending mitt romney on the air in the last two months, mitt romney is going to be able to, i believe, outspend barack obama on the air in the last two-months of the campaign, in september and october. the fact of the matter is, he will be telling the story. the time will come when he is doing more paid advertising and he will focus on the bits and pieces of his story, and one of the things you always see in the challenger, you saw it with barack obama four years ago, you're going to see it with mitt romney in this election, is they use the convention not just to slidfy the base but to tell a big part of their story of
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who they are and i think you're going to see that at the end of august. guest: but he did run a primary and in his primary he did not run ads on his tenure as governor of massachusetts, he did not run on bain capital. guest: he did talk about both of those things in his speeches and quite frankly, one of the things that would be interesting to have a discussion on, but the whole issue and the impact of supercommittees in the primary changed the dynamics of that. the impact of so many debates being highly watched changed the dynamics of that. if you go to the debates which were highly watched he did talk about both of those things. if you look at what he had to deal with in terms of the supercommittees, of candidates basically being propped up long before they would still be alive in the primary process, that's a whole different -- it's a whole different issue. but if you want to see it, i would just wait. it's coming. host: layton, sarasota, good morning. caller: i'm one of the people
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that you guys are talking about, the swing voter, and i didn't vote in the last election because i really didn't care for either candidate. so that was the way i spoke my vote. but you can talk about, like, you know, likability and all of this stuff, but mainly, what i'm going to vote on are economic numbers. and obama is trying to convince us, you know, the swing voters, that everything is all right. and we don't believe that. and many people i know that are independents, that have sat it out, are not now going to sit it out. they're going for romney. host: sounds like you're leaning towards mitt romney. caller: and i got polled, and somebody asked me if i liked obama, and yeah, i like him as a person, but i don't want to hand the keys of the kingdom back to somebody that
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has never even been a night manager for 711. host: it sounds like you're leaning towards the republican, to mitt romney. caller: definitely. guest: well, ronald reagan was never a businessman, either, and lost to republicans -- and lots of republicans think he did a good job with the economy. i don't think that's the sole qualifier. the fact of the matter is the economy is not in great shape, the president was handed the keys to the worst economy in generations and we are seeing some signs of improvement, we are seeing some actions that have started to help turn things around. it's not where everybody wants it to be. the question people have, really, is over the next four years, what is the choice that we want, do we want an economy geared towards helping the middle class, do we want an economy geared towards helping the wealthiest, the multi-national corporations, and that's the choice that the president is putting in front of people, and i think it's a choice that we're
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going to be facing. guest: -- host: sasha says romney will spend after he is nominated. this republican convention is late. last week of august. democratic convention in early september. guest: right. host: does it help or hurt when it comes to momentum and also the logistics of a nominee? guest: we'll have to see. i think the reason why the conventions -- and i was a program director on the last convention. the reason why it's moving later and later and later is because they're trying to move it so that it is in play in terms of what's happening in the fall, as opposed to being in the middle of the summer, then everyone goes back to their barbecues and lake and whatever they're doing during the summer. vacations. i'm going to come back to the caller, though. very often, in -- and the caller, i will not say the caller represents all independents, but she does represent the one third of the independents i'm talking about, which are not the every year, year in, year
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out, independents who votes in the presidential election, but fades in and out. that there is something that keying them to participate this year that didn't key them to participate last year. some that were keyed to participate last year that is not there this year because of disappointment on barack obama, not delivering in terms of the economy that he said he could turn around. i think the one problem with what meek was saying and thekind of keep on this line, is that he knew we were in bad economic straits. we had an economic crisis in the middle of the campaign that kind of tipped the campaign finally in his direction, even though it was very tight in september, when the economy fell apart in september, that's when he really picked up momentum in the campaign, and there wasn't a doubt in a voter's mind that this was a bad economy he was taking over and he said he could make a difference. and that's what voters are going to vote on. not the fact of what he was handed but the fact that he didn't deliver.
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host: "washington post", eight questions, 100 days before the election, different factors could determine how you vote on election day, including mitt romney's running mate, also his own background and also, the issue of meganif -- negative ads. speaking of negative ads, this is from the democratic national committee following mitt romney's visit on thursday in london, his remarks about the olympics. let's watch: >> mitt romney was hoping his big overseas trip to britain, israel and poland would get plenty of attention, and it is. for all the wrong reasons. >> something mitt romney said during our conversation with him here yesterday exploded here in london today. >> there was no olympic swimming pool in sight, and mitt romney was making waves with comments he made about the city's preparations for the olympic games. >> it's a good thing the british do not vote in our elections. for romney, that is. romney's audition as a statesman is off to a rocky start for what he said about
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the olympics there, on the eve of the big global event. london awoke to romney's second-guessing its preparations. >> he set off a firestorm in the british press. >> criticism exploded on newspaper headlines. >> the guardian, the times, the telegraph fired off this commentary, mitt romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly de void of charles and mildly offensive. host: ed goeas, i want to ask you about that ad but also this trend we're seeing as news clips becoming part of television advertising. first the spot itself. guest: i'm sure the dnc were able to be finally given something they could do their jobs o'clock after two weeks of watching the rnc one-up them on you didn't build it. that's what they will do as part of the process. the question question, going
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back, does it have the impact with the voters. not only spots like this, but the campaign spots that the obama campaign has been running on bain capital for two-months and it's had zero impact. in fact, most of the focus groups that we've done in recent weeks, where the issue of bain capital comes up, it's like who, what? they're just not having an impact for the voters, because it's not what's important to them at this point. guest: i do think the one thing it's funny, the point you're making, more and more people are not reading newspapers, the more and more we see them in television ads, right? campaigns and independent groups are looking for validation of their claims because there are so many negative ads that it's easy for people to not believe them, so they use newspaper citations and things like that to give credibility. guest get and the irony of that is that the people that write the headlines are not the people that write the articles, and i can't tell
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you over the last 20 years, 25 years i've been watching those kind of things very closely how often the headline does not match the true intent of the article and what's in the article. host: barbara, good morning, republican line from western texas, good morning. caller: good morning, gentlemen. the first caller i heard, about hiding myth -- mitt romney hiding something, well, obama is hiding something bigger that was negated in his presidency. i speak to sheriff arapao's secretary this spring and found out lately that they had a news release on the investigation into obama's birth certificate and found out that the coding system that is dictated by the federal government in 1961 is not the same codingna they used on the short form or the
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long form that he presumably presented to the press. and they spoke to the lady who had signed -- supposedly signed the birth certificate, a verna k. lee, and she said no, the coding is absolutely wrong on his apparent birth certificate. host: thank you for the call. this issue continues to come up. this morning, david mari navment s addressing the birth certificate and also his religious upbringing, called the audacity of doubt, conspiracy theorists about obama heed neither facts nor reason. guest: look, the facts are clear. it's really sort of silly when we get to talking about this question of citizenship when there's no doubt, every respected media outlet and frankly, every respected republican, agrees about this citizenship question. so the american public
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understands it. it's small fringe groups that has any questions at all about it. upfortly, some of them are republican candidates for congress. but by in large, there's no question about this and it's not a legitimate topic. host: steve on the democratic line, perriesville, indiana. caller: the republicans don't have anything. mitt romney, if he gets in this country will be in so much trouble, it's not funny, because he's going to be george bush times three or four. and the president has been doing his job. the house and senate are what is obstructing him with the filibusters in the senate and the house won't vote anything that's for the people. they haven't vetted one thing for the people. they've got a couple of
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idiots out there, the one, mcconnell, and boner, i call him, but it's ridiculous. host: ed goeas. guest: where do i start. the whole issue -- and i get very frustrated. i differ from probably everyone in washington. this country is evenly split. it's about 42, 43 percent democrat. it's about 41 percent republican. where this concept of compromise has come up to become the be all to end all, i've never understood. we are in a great situation here, the one thing i say consistently about the president is the one thing positively from a republican standpoint you can say is he's been consistent to his
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ideology. even though things don't seem to -- as we would say, don't seem to be working, he comes back and he wants to do more of the same. he's been very, very consistent to his ideology. that gives us an opportunity in this country, and in this presidential campaign, to have a true debate on do you want to go this direction or do you want to go this direction. obviously this caller would like to go a different direction than many of the people that i talk to or that i deal with in terms of candidates. but i'd rather that to be the debate rather than the debate be we have a system that they can't come to agreement, because the real reality of the issue -- of the situation is the president in the first two years got virtually everything that he asked for, because he had overwhelming majorities in both the house and senate. and he got virtually everything that he asked for. so it's not a matter of the president not getting what he wanted because of congress. it's a matter of after that first two years, there is a
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strong feeling on our side of the aisle that it's not working. you know, let's have a debate about the best way to go after makeing this economy better. host: "the new york times" this morning, with regard to the negative tone of this campaign, the president's prospect for reelection, he writes, now rests in part on one of the biggest gambles of his career, that the benefits of trying to eviscerate mr. rom know outweigh his reputation: >> guest: when are you in the situation the president is in where most voters have pretty defined views of who he is, both on the positive and negative side, there's more to be gained by twining your opponent and telling people the difference between your view and his view. that's really what he's focused on and it makes sense from a political strategy standpoint. host: jon connell says why can't politicians argue the
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real issues, why make up stuff up. for example the you didn't build that, taken completely out of context, because if you do hear the president's full speech, he was saying it takes roads and bridges built by tax dollars to get to the business respect started, he was trying to put everything in context but that became a moniker. guest: that's why i don't understand the barack obama exean, because if you take the full speech in contest, before he was talking about bridges and roads, he was talking about if you built a company, you didn't build it because you were smarter than the other guy out there. there are other smart people out there. if you built your own company, you didn't do it because you worked harder than the other guy. he actually was talking about you did not build your company on your own, so i'm very glad to take it in the full context, and it is an issue, because what it gets down to, and one of the things that's been talked about if that particular speech, is it's one of the few speeches he's given recently that he wasn't using a teleprompter and there is a strong belief, i believe with
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many voters, certainly many people on our side of the aisle, that it gave a real look into the soul of what barack obama really believes. and we think it's important in this comol economic -- whole economic discussion going on in this country. guest: that's a good debate to have. all of us, we have businesses and i don't think we built -- we built them because we've got talented staff who are educated in public schools that rur tax dollars paid for, we benefit from the roads and metro system and things like that that take us to work so i actually think taken in this context it's a good debate to have. if you believe that every business was created simply because of one smart person without the help of his hard working people who are educated in our public schools, that's one view. the president was making the argument that yes, in fact, smart people do build businesses through hard work, diligent, good ideas but they have a lot of help along the way, and -- >> guest: but one of the keys is there's something in those people that they were willing to risk everything to go
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after their dream. and one of the most interesting things is we have this kind of debate over class warfare that barack obama wants to keep taking in this campaign is if you ask the american public are you more concerned about the special benefits that the rich get or are you concerned about things being changed in such a way that you won't have those same opportunities to be successful yourself, by 2-1, the american public wants a defense of the free enterprise system and those things that will give them an opportunity to also own a small business, also take those risks, and want to take those risks. so yeah, i'll take that debate, we'll have a lot of fun with it. guest: look it, republicans always like to say this is class warfare. it is class warfare. the wealthiest have declared war on the middle class, the middle class is standing up and fighting back and saying that every american should have a chance. guest: that is rhetoric that -- >> host: joe is -- ed goeas,
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the speech sounds even worse. bee on the phone from virginia beach, good morning. caller: i simply had a question for both pollsters. i was won ring how hard it is to get an accurate polls. in fact, a lot of people don't use your land lines and they use cell phones. i just simply had this question. i wondered. guest: we are reaching people on cell phones now. both firms are taking great strides to not only reach people on land lines but cell phones. it is absolutely getting
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harder to do what we do, but we reach people wherever they are. guest: and we look at things a lot of the public polls don't electric at in terms of intensity, in terms of the gap, in terms of loyalty, and we're doing the same thing, we're looking at cell phones. i will say, one of the insider concerns we have is that we ask a very specific question, in the very beginning, if they're on a cell phone, is are you driving. and if they say they're drying, then it's can we call you back. so not only is it a problem of getting the cell phones, it's a problem of we have to be somewhat responsible in not talking to someone on the cell phone when they're driving down the road. host: last question for both of you, michael bocian, i'll begin with you, what one uncertainty concerns you the most leading into this election? guest: europe, the economy, a major international collapse of the economy that has collateral damage on the united states i think could pose a serious problem for
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obama's reelection. host: ed goeas, one think worries you the most. guest: the focus doesn't continue on what's the best route in terms of the best economic future for this country. host: gentlemen, thank you for being with us, appreciate it. come back and see us. you're watching washington journal for this sunday, july 29th. when we come back in a moment, sheila krumholz will be with us as we take a look at superpacs, the amount of money being spent in this presidential campaign, she is with the center for responsive politics and later, with the attacks in iraq, many question whether al-qaeda is making a resurgence in this country, nora benashel will join us for a -- with center for a new american security on iraq that as washington journal continues.
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>> on after words, frederick harris argues that obama's reelection undermined the civil rights movement that made it possible, followed with "vanity fair" contributor edward klein with a critical look at the president before and after he reached the white house, from his best seller "the amateur". then at 10:45, former chief economist at the world bank, nobel prize winner joseph stigeltt. s on why growing economic divisions are bad for our country. part of book tv on c-span2. >> washington journal continues. >> our topic, money in politics, nobody knows it better than sheila krumholz, executive director of the center for responsive politics. good morning, thank you for being with us. guest: thank you. host: bloomberg business, karl rove, in 2000 he was bush's brain and now he wants to be the $1 billion wallet as well, focusing on american
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crossroads, one of the number of suprapacks for theand republicans, changing campaign 2012. guest: absolutely. this is a whole new ballgame. we are looking at a system that's brand new for a presidential election cycle whereby the money can come from corporate treasuries, labor treasuries, trade sowses and folks like karl rove, political operatives who have been important strategists and fund-raisers for a long time are really holding many of the cards this time. their behind the scenes, but very powerful. host: among the people who are some of the key trib tories, steve wynn, a casino -- las vegas casino owner, harold simmons, a billionaire industrialist from dallas, sam bell, a real estate investor in chicago, daniel lobe, hedge fund manager in new york. what do they get out of this, what are they looking for, why do they contribute millions of dollars to candidates?
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guest: tens of millions. in fact they're hoping to get what they have gotten before and more. many of these are the same big donors that have played at the national and state and local level for many, many years. and this are some new faces, but i think they hope to really change the course of the american politics and in a way that favors in some cases their ideological certainly and even economic interests. host: is there somebody comparable on the democratic side? guest: on the democratic side, katzenberg, jeffrey katzenberg of skg dreamworks and recently irwin jacobs, there are major donors, including bill maher and morgan freehman, but they were not able to hold a candle to the amount of money raised on the conservative side. host:host: host let's look at te
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-- people knew what was going to happen when he said the supreme court, what was the wrong decision. what did the court decide and why does that change from what we've seen post watergate through 2008? guest: there's so much confusion about what citizens united did and did not do and of course we need to distinguish what citizens united and the speech now, which created superpacs. but the bottom line is many of the donations being made now could have been made all along. if they're large individual donations going to nonprofits, to 501c4 social welfare organizations or groups like the chambers, they could have been made all along. the difference is what those groups can do with it and using corporate cash may or may not be part of the picture. we don't know what's hid in those groups, the groups don't need to disclose who is giving them the money, and
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much of the money, particularly now, going into the election, is being spent by these more secretive nonprofits. not the superpacs which do disclose. host: on open secrets.org, some of the romney bumblers, one of the names mentioned, patrick diirken, do you know who he is and is he emblematic of -- >> guest: of barkley's? so much of the money is coming from financial organizations and individuals representing, and particularly, again, on the conservative side, and of course, bark claiz is -- barclays is embroiled in the -- in another banking scandal, so we've seen some uncomfortable connections, relationships to those who have the money to give who -- and also have arguably a good reason to want to develop more cordial relations with
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the candidate who will most benefit their economic interest. host: our guest is sheila krumholz, our lines are open, e-mail us, c-span.org, facebook, twitter, c-span wj. mitt romney with a series of fund-raisers in israel this weekend, in london late last week. everything legal? guest: legal because they're raising the money from xpacs, from americans abroad. this has been done in prior cycles as well. it is i think unusual. it's a little bit uncomfortable to be raising funds for american elections on foreign soil but each of these donations, if they're more than $200, must be itemize dollars to the federal election commission, reported, and therefore we can scrutinize who these people are. mosley they're coming from executives abroad, often folks in the military
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purchase it abroad, so legal, but an interesting phenomenon, a big jump in those contributions this cycle. host: although not at the same level in 2008, the president is raising money from some of the very people that he's going after from new york: investors, financial executives and even hedge fund managers. guest: there are many folks from wall street among president obama's buttonedlers, those -- bundlers, shaking the busheso bushes, working on his behalf but he has taken a real hit from -- perhaps dollars based upon the financial reforms -- that he championed during his first term and wall street is giving far more to mitt romney, $25 million, as opposed to $10 million for the entire sector, financial real estate. host: good morning to you, republican line. caller: yes good morning.
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>> host: good morning. we can hear you, please go ahead. caller: yes. i'm concerned about the fact that in the media, general, an specifically with your guest there, that the word propaganda is very rarely brought up. any comments? guest: propaganda by the campaigns, by the outside interest groups? i'm not sure what you're -- >> caller: okay. i'll try and keep this simple i'm focusing on the word propaganda. computers now will go through an analyze how often a word is used. now, i'm 70 years old and i was telling the screener that i come to the conclusion that when both groups are talking about the superpacs and large amount of money, they're really talking about the ability of prop abandoned -- to pop grandize and we're in -- to prop grandize and we're in a difficult situation
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because the propaganda is a science now host: an earlier caller, when the president said something, well, mitt romney something and that one quote is translated into a series of negative ads. guest: yes. the ads this ads are fueled by tens of millions of dollars by outside groups with patriotic, vague sounding names that we're not familiar with. many of the groups are new, of course, because there are hundreds of superpacs and many of them have a separate nonprofit arm. so so we're suddenly besieged with ads and this grow to election day run by organizations that are spending millions of dollars that we have little familiarity with and the messages that they're sending are often highly negative, and deceptive, and this is concerning because we need that information about who's bankrolling their effort, who is really behind their
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americans for a better america today ads. we need that information in order to be able to consider the source, and decide whether or not their message is credible. host: gene, ohio, who are moit romny's bundlers, who are the president's top bundlers? >> we do have a bull list on open secrets.org for president obama's bundlers. there's a page devoted to bundlers and infographic. so take a look at that. many of the same bundlers that have lined up on his side before and even aggregated by industries. so you can see that it is highly representative of very wealthy and elite set of americans. but the concern really for us is that we have no idea beyond a few lobbyists, which due to earlier reforms must be disclosed. there's no idea who the
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bundlers are, helping to raise funds for mitt romney. and we have a petition on open secrets.org to ask the romney campaign to release that list, because we think it's important to know who may benefit in the romney administration, too. so this is something that i think is in the best interest of all americans, democrat, republican, independent. we need information in order to make sound decisions for ourselves. >> host: and to your earlier point, january brings up i think it -- jan brings up i think it should be illegal to raise money in other countries. guest: mitt romney is now in london and he's been holding fund-raisers there and in israel. president obama and his surrogates, michelle obama, have in the past raised funds on his behalf abroad. so this is not unique or
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novel but it is a growing trend as the campaigns are seeking to squeeze money out of every corner of the planet they're looking for funds everywhere they can and i don't think this is a great concern in materials of they'll be able to raise money illegally, i don't think that's the issue, but it does make for interesting research on who is bankrolling these campaigns. they're ultimately giving several million dollars, but in campaign, that will potentially reach $2 billion, $1.5 billion each, that may not be much money. host: so when the hypes are written on this campaign, congressional, gubernatorial, superpacs, how much will we spend? can you put a final figure on this? guest: we believe there may be a billion dollars in outside spending, perhaps
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$6 billion all told. there have been kind of wild suggestions about how much will be spent, but more importantly, it will be spent by the outside interest groups that we have insufficient information about. host: this number from "the new york times" this past monday, both the democratic and republican side, the democrats raising just under $500 million having spent $405 million. the republicans, raising about $437 million, and having spent about $315 million. so clearly the republicans have a lot more cash in hand than the democrats. guest: the presidential race i think will not be won or lost based upon insufficient resources. both candidates and parties will have after thatel resources -- ample resources, despite the fact that it may
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not top the funds raised in the last cycle, which is typically the case. it's always a pretty steep climb over time. usually there is that -- last cycle it was extraordinary, with such hot competition on both sides, such a wide open field of can daint. so this cycle with the republican primary getting off to a later start and with i think the effects of the economy and perhaps other cak torsoo factors, the presidential cycle will not be as expensive, in fact, as many people predicted it would be. the congressional races, on the other hand, are going to be much more this cycle thrn last. host: our conversation with sheila krumholz, a graduate of the university of minnesota and executive director of the center for responsive politics, the website is open secrets.org. your funding comes from where? guest: our funding comes from foundations primarily, ford open society institute,
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rockefeller brothers fund, also smaller foundations, family foundations, and individuals. so we accept contributions from individuals, no contributions from corporation, labor unions or trade associations. host: there is a list also available on their website, open secrets.org. arrived on the phone, canton, ohio, good morning. caller: good morning. i was calling in, i wanted to know, they said that the obama campaign -- they announced he was going to raise a billion dollars. i never remembered him announcing that. that was something that the republicans put out there. and i was wondering, through all the superpacs, they say that romney, he claims he don't know who they are and like all of the secrecy that they have around it, but i think they're all -- think they're all into it together. and something else. i remember -- i forget his name but i watched him on c-span and he was talking
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about an allagarthy government where the rich are trying to buy out the got and they think a lot of people contributing to these superpacs, i guess if you put a million dollars in a politician's pocket, they can make a lie the truth. guest: well, the high rollers, big donors giving to superpacs and political nonprofits cannot put a million dollars into the pocket of a candidate, but you're right in the sense that they can give to these outside purportedly independent groups that are sending out a message that is nearly indistinguishable from the campaign, and of course, many of these organizations are run by the very top -- former top lieutenants and senior advisers to the campaigns. so to the degree that the
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relationships between the folks running the superpark -- superpacs and the campaigns are so close, it comes down to kind of technically uncoordinated coordination between these groups. host: bringing up congressional races, asking about the congressional races, one of the questions, how hot is it for the incumbent congressman. i know y're not here to talk about the politics of the races, but when you look at the money being spent in the house and senate races, with congress at a record level of' -- record low level of popularity among the american people and yet a majority of congress gets reelected. guest: it's true, although last cycle we saw a huge spike in the number of challengers victorious on election day, so that was -- you know, ultimately, incumbents win -- the vast majority of incumbents will be reelected on election day. but with the advent of citizens united and the ability for an organization
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to swoop in, drop a million dollars, 2 million, 10 million, in the last days and weeks of the election cycle, it's i think a very nervous time for any candidate, incumbent or challenger, because they really don't control their message anymore to the degree that an organization might see a benefit to take out a candidate from the run fg they see that this person has jurisdiction over their issues, through their committee assignments and does not see their issues and their company and their industry in a favorable light. it may be a valuable investment for them to try to run ads that, you know, overwhelm the campaign with messaging and a lot of money. host: our topic is money and politics, our guest, sheila krumholz, center for responsive politics, and we note all of the campaign programming, including all of our programming itself on this network, available on our website, part of c-span's
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video library, c-span.org. richard is on the phone, long island, good morning. caller: yes, hi. my name is richard from long island, new york. i've been a taxpayer, union rep, been part of a union since i'm 18 years old, i'm going to be 47 in august. what aggravates me the most since i've been saying taxes is the hypocrisy of the democratic party. i used to be registered republican and i'm not very happy with that party myself so i switched to conservative, and what bothers me the most is i don't -- republicans don't tell me how to live my life. they don't tell me what light bulbs i have to buy and listening to this lady, i see the same hypocrisy, where my union has been funding democrats for the 30 years that i've been in it, you don't hear nothing about the billions upon billions of dollars that the democrats have been given to -- giving
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to the presidentials like clinton and obama and so on. that goes under the radar. but we hear about the owner of the los vegas -- las vegas casino. host: address that, please. guest: unquestionably the unions are a powerful force in u.s. politics and have been for a long time. they give a lot of pac money directly to candidates and officially members of congress who are seen as being supportive of union issues. more importantly, they control massive numbers of individual union members in the sense that they can assign mem to -- them it to phone banks and van casing operations. -- canvassing operations. these are kind of the foot soldiers of the democratic and progressive campaigns. so there's no question that unions are investing millions upon millions of dollars in
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union member dues. the difference, perhaps, is that we know where union money comes from. it comes from their members' dues which is itself a controversial issue, but the distinction with these outside groups is that we don't know where the money is coming from, often times, and we don't know if it's coming from the corporate treasury, if it's an investment that the corporation or trade association might be making in secret in order to help sway the electoral outcome and ultimately policy in their favor. host: john john what's this point, my suggestion, if you cannot vote, you cannot donate. guest: well, this is a popular theme after the citizens united decision which in effect said that corporations are people and in the sense that they have the same rights to free speech that individuals do, and therefore a corporation cannot be prevented from spending as much money as they wish on independent advocacy for or against a candidate, as well as issue
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advocacy that may identify a candidate but is otherwise indistinguishable from those -- because they vote for this candidate or against it, so corporations, unions, trade associations with spend directly on behalf of a candidate independently. again, supposedly, at least. but there is -- they is not happening as much as people -- they're not spending as much directly. there was a lesson particularly for corporations last cycle where a target was seen as being burned by having funded an outside group which ran ads or supported a candidate that held antigay beliefs and that conflicted with the company's message. so they've had a boycott and i think that was a less yn perhaps to many corporations to not get involved directly in politicing. host: in 1976, former
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governor ford, president carter -- we saw changes in the last campaign cycle, most noteple with barack obama not accepting matching funds in a general election. is that system dead? guest: it is dead, unless -- th need to revive it if it's going to be used again in the future. i mean, this is a system that i think was allowed to wither on the vine. did did not -- it did not get broad public support. i think at the highest level, there was only about 30 percent public support for the -- for the public financing system, so that is over, there are no longer be public funds in the primary or general by the nominees. host: they have to abide by the caps for the individual contribution for the party from the superpac, correct? guest: is there a limit on how much an individual can contribute? $2500 is what an individual can give to a candidate for each election, that's 5000
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for the primary and general combined, and, of course, for many of the largest donors, maxing out to the campaign is kind of a pit stop on the way to giving much higher levels of money to the superpacs and organizations that are friendly to those candidates. host: howard from mare ana, california, you're with sheila krumholz, the center for responsive politics, you're on the republican line, good morning. caller: good morning, steve. boy, you stole my thunder because i was going to ask the lady about the hypocrisy of the president not accepting matching funds but as she explained it, it's a dead issue. can i ask, steve, a question about what i think would be an improvement to your broadcast in the journal? host: certainly. caller: especially when we're talking in this political season about the economy, and i think all democrats and republicans would agree that
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the economy is number one on the list. it would be right above your c-span logo, you use the clock that shows the debt that's being created. host: okay, we -- we've gotten a u.s. debt clock and i know it's approaching $16 trillion, and we refer to it quite often. but go ahead, howard. you want it on 24/7? caller: that probably wouldn't be practical. my issue is when we're talking about the -- are you there, steve? host: i am. caller: when we're talking about the financial issue of the day and what we need to do about, oh, for example, medicare, medicaid, social security, the federal -- excuse me, the defense budget and so on and so forth, when a caller calls in and is looking at the screen, it
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will focus his thoughts on exactly what we're talking about. we seem to get down in the weeds on special issues like, for example, thank god the koch brothers and their ability to create an atmosphere that would show what capitalism is in this country. now, of course, on the left, with the unions fighting in the wrong direction -- wi just ask the lady how she felt about the -- oh, the -- shall we say the inappropriate money that was brought in by the unions in the battle in wisconsin. host: i think this is what you're referring torque the u.s. debt clock which has now $15.9 trillion growing here in this country, but again, a question about the unions, and -- >>
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guest: that was money that was focused on influencing wisconsin electoral activities, but it was a very clear display of union might. it wasn't ultimately enough to carry the day for them. but again, the ability to mobilize broadz -- bodies, to rally, to get the message out, is one of the union's strengths. unions, in terms of hard money going to candidates, election committees, parties, do not give nearly as much as corporate pacs and contributions from individuals, executives. those who are able to give a contribution of more than $200 represent a very tiny elite of american society, about less than one half of 1 percent give to federal elections, and then again, for many of these donors who
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are maxing out to the campaigns, they're going on to give hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to these, again, causes i -- quasi independent organizations. host: there are 693 superpacs listed as of last week of the here's a look at some of the leading superpacs and the money they're contributing to campaign 2012, priorities u.s.a. which has raised according to the center for responsive politics, just over $20 million, a democratic superpac, the dnc raising just under $200 million in the obama -- and the obama campaign raising about $275 million. on the republican side, restore our future, a superpac that has raised 83 1/2 million dollars, the rnc, just over $200 million, and the romney campaign, $154.3 million. looking at those numbers, one of our viewers saying as soon as you have accepted that money as free speech you've accepted a philosophy that holds that some people have
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more free speech than others. guest: that is one of the complaints levied against citizens united and these court decisions that have prohibited limits on contributions and spending, that it will ultimately make certain speech louder and drown out the ability of those without resources to get their message out. and we have heard stories about candidates who have been unable to buy air time because these utside groups that are tbhaig with big money are buying up the time, and of course, able to offer much more lucrative opportunities to the network, to the radio and tv stations. but is it -- does it jeopardize the principle and value we've held dear for a long time of one person, one
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vote, that is something that for the american people to conclude and to make certain that congress hears them, because right now, congress is stymied. there have been efforts, but there will be no movement certainly in this cycle. host: doug on the phone from st. louis, good morning, democrats' line with sheila krumholz for the center for responsive politics. caller: good morning steve and sheila. i'll just let you know it's raining here in st. charles. host: that's good news, isn't it? you've needed the rain. caller: yeah, it's the first time it's rained in forever. these are -- okay. i've got a point. i'm going to run off two other clocks that i think should be up there. one that shows the accumulation of wealth by the upper 1 percent, and the other one should be the loss of tax revenue due to the bush tax cuts. let's set those clocks beside it. host: okay, thank you for the idea. let me have one final point,
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one of our viewers would be explain to the listeners that the party conventions are funded partially by taxpayers. tbf guest yes. since that was part of the public financing put in place in the mid '70s, both the democratig and republican convention committees, not the host committees but the party convention committees will receive about $18 million this year and then the host committees will go on to raise enormous sums of money, millions upon millions of dollars in private donations which cause some to question why there is public investment, if that will no longer be the pot of money that the conventions use. but on the other side of that argument, the host committees, the cities argue that this is an economic benefit to promote the cities that host the convention. so there are two sides to the story, but there are clearly opportunities for corporations, unions, individuals, trade
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associations to -- in fact in the festivities -- to invest in the festivities and curry favor with the candidates. host: sheila krumholz, center for responsive politics, the website, open secrets.org, thank you for being with us. >> guest: thank you. host: as we focus on syria and afghanistan, up next, we want to turn our attention to iraq and many feel thank al-qaeda may be making a resurgence in that country. we'll be talking about that in a moment as the wa journal continues on this sunday morning but first a look at the other guests and topics makes news on this july 29th, nancy callahan has that. good morning. >> on today's network tv talk shows, topics include presidential politics, intelligence leaks, defense cuts and congress at agenda -- congressional agenda. we note that sunday an next sunday, meet the press which usually cares on c-span radio at noon eastern time is
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preempted due to nbc's coverage of the olympics, meet the press returns august 12, at 1:00, today's guest include obama campaign senior adviser robert gibbs, and kevin madden, senior adviser to the romney campaign. on fox news sunday, host chris wallace sits down with antonin scalia, cnn's state of the union with candy crowley hosts dick durbin, an illinois democrat, and new hampshire's senator kelly aiyote and bob schiffer, host of face the nation talks with rodney erickson on the fallout from the jerry sandusky case, followed by a panel discussion an retired supreme court justice sandra day o'connor, network shows are brought to you as a public service by the networks and c-span. today's reairs begin at 1:00 p.m. with abc's this week, followed by fox news sunday at 2:00 p.m., then 3:00 p.m., cnn state of the union,
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finally, face the nation from cbs at 4:00 p.m. eastern. listen to them all on c-span radio, on 91 oint 1fm in the washington, d.c. area, nationwide on xm satellite radio, channel 119, listen on your blackberry, iphone or android phone or go online to c-span radio.org. flush. >> the political parties are holding their platform hearings in advance of their summer conventions with democrats holding public hearings in minnesota this weekend, followed a few weeks later with their final platform recommendations in detroit. in mid august republicans start their platform process at their convention site in attacha, florida. c-span's coverage of the party conventions continues august 10 with the reform party in philadelphia, followed by the republican national convention, with live gavel to gavel coverage, beginning monday, august 27th from jampa and the democratic national convention, live from charlotte -- charlotte, north carolina, starting
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monday, september 3rd. >> we did not begin as a city in kentucky. there was only a vague native american region and later a county in another state called kentucky. but we began in 1778 as virginians. >> next weekend joined book tv, american history tv and c-span's local content vehicles from louisville, kentucky, saturday at noon eastern, literary life with book tv on c-span2, biography er john david dyke on kentucky senator mitch mccommand on rebooting internet politics, the internet revolution and sunday at 5:00 p.m., on american history tv, three weeks at farmington plantation in 1841 would be key in shaping abraham lincoln's view on slavery. tour that plantation today. the heyday of the steam boat on the ohio arrive. take a look back on the belle
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of louisville. c-span explores history and literary life acrossmark. next week, louisville on c-span 2 and 3. >> washington journal continues. >> we want to focus on iraq and our guest is norah benashel, senior fellow with the center for new american security and joining us ski a skype from baghdad is lorea jakes -- layer gentleman jakes of the associated press. lara jakes, let me begin with you and some of the news of the past week, a series of bombings erupted around the country, the death toll now listed at more than 115. what's been happening inside iraq and who is responsible? >> well, al-qaeda and iraq have taken responsibility for all of these attacks, plus moreover the last six weeks or so. iraq has seen a uptick in violence from what it had been even a year earlier. last week was terrible.
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as you said, over 115 people were killed and there were shootings and bombings across the country. the politics in iraq are in chaos and many people believe this is what's really fueling the insurgency to triand take advantage of this situation and step into this gap and reassert themselves in a way that we haven't seen in quite some time. >> in a story that you posted for the associated press, one sentence is striking, because it does give you a sense of how things have changed over the last six months, and that is that the u.s. military is gone, is out of iraq. what type of presence do we have right now in the country? and in light of what we've been seeing over the last week to ten days, will anything change? guest: no. it probably will not change, as far as the u.s. presence is concerned. president obama has made that clear, he has no plans to send in more troops to iraq. at the peak of the u.s. military presence in iraq, there was something like
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166,000 forces around the country. today, there are fewer than 200 active duty personnel in iraq. most of them are helping iraqi security forces train with new equipment. but as far as going out, trying to keep peace, trying to assure iraqis that they have some stability in this country, the u.s. has nothing to do with that anymore. host: lara jakes, stay with us, nora benashel is here in our studio. did al-qaeda ever leave iraq? guest: al-qaeda has been through ups and downs in terms of its abilities in iraq. i think it's clear that in the past few months they've become stronger and they're deliberating timing these attacks to try to destabilize the government of prime minister malaki. the iraqi political situation has been in a state of chaos for really two years since malaki was elected to his second term but al-qaeda's strategy is to try to over
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time unsettle the situation, increase the level of violence to the point where people start questioning the government. but it's not something that's going to affect the government or stability profoundly in the next week or months. their strategy is a very long term one. host: to both of you, and nora benashel, we'll begin with you, did the u.s. military do anything in terms of the pullout, should we have done anything differently and will anything change in terms of our role, our presence, our involvement or our advice to the iraqi government? guest: the united states couldn't have done anything in different. in 2008, just before leaving office, president bush signed an agreement with iraq which had full sovereignty at the time that said that all u.s. forces would be out by the end of 2011 and there was no follow-on agreement that was reached with the iraqis, largely because of iraqi opposition to some of the airplane guarantees that the u.s. military gets for its troops regularly and the world when they operate in other countries. given that, the u.s. had no choice but to pull out, down to the level of advisers, about that 200 number which
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was provided for in that agreement. host: lara jakes, in terms of the advice we're giving the iraqi got or military or forces in that country, have things changed in terms of what we're telling them they need to do or should be doing caller: i don't think that the advice has changed. i think that it's in everybody's best interest that everybody has discussed that iraq needs to stabilize. we're the security of its people. prime minister malaki needs to prove that he can protect the citizens of iraq, especially in the second term. especially if he's looking forward to possibly a third term, two years from now. but there's very little the americans can actually do. and u.s. influence in iraq has really waned in the last three years that i've been here, especially. but certainly, it's nowhere near where it it is now. i mean, they have a very small presence here, the u.s. embassy remains big, but their influence with the
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government has really been diminished. host: let me follow up on two items, the ambassador to iraq pulling out his nomination, who is running the embassy at the moment? caller: currently, the number two at the embassy is running it on -- while the administration tries to find a new person, his name is steve be. croft, and you know, frankly, the media here don't see him very often. sometimes we go over to briefings at the embassy. but he is more of a low key player here, as the administration tries to figure out which direction in which to take the embassy with a new better. host: lara jake jakes is joining us via skype, as a reporter covering the situation in that country. what's it like for you personally and do you have any security concerns of your own? caller: no, i don't have any security concerns of my own. it has waned and waxed over
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the last six months i would say. prior to the troops leaving, i really didn't have any concerns whatsoever. the malaki government i think understandably wants to show the world that baghdad is safer so he is trying to take flash walls down across the city, that includes not just in front of our house but government offices, places across the city. and there are still bombings and shootings here every single day. we may not hear about them all or the united states may not hear about them all but things are tenuous here, things are very grim and the violence here remains random. you really don't know what's going to be in your path when you leave your house that day. an and that -- and that goes for everybody. .
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oliva want the thing numbers in some perspective. there have been a few hundred fatalities every month in iraq according to the best estimates. if you go back to look at january 2004 right after the invasion and fall of a rocket, it was 1000 people killed per
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month. -- after the invasion and fall of iraq, it was 1000 people killed per month. i do not want to downplay the instability this causes precisely because it is random and people do not know where the next level of attack will be. if you look at the overall trend, this is certainly still a much lower level of violence than it has been in the past. host: lara jakes, who is funding al qaeda? guest: for long time, they relied on corn money and foreign fighters at the height of the insurgency when iraq was about to go into a civil war. right now, we are hearing that the flood of aid to help rebels in syria may be in being siphoned off in i iraq and that is where they have gotten an uptick. in june, we saw a pretty
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dramatic of dick in the number of attacks that had been erupting across iraq. there was one every three days by our count. that is something we have not seen for months and months. we have seen their capability to launch a full-scale attack maybe one or two days per month. it usually occurred to the man or -- the mid or end of the month. in the month of june, almost every three days there was an attack. that made a lot of us sit up and ask what was going on. last week's statement by the new leader of al qaeda in iraq said that he wants to take back a areas that they were pushed out of by the u.s. military. these were almost explicitly in areas against them. he seems to be making good on his promise and that is alarming
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a lot of people sitting here feeling the effects of these and it's a grim. host: a final point before we let you go. you have been pointing out that the attacks to have been seeing some of these drive-by shootings, and were virtually unheard of during the reign of saddam hussein. what is different? why was he able to prevent this and now we are seeing an uptick in violence? guest: iraq has been silent for a long time. it depends on how you define violence. in these a dom regime there was hundreds of thousands if not millions that he killed. there were kurds he launched a campaign to of genocide against. if you want to look at it from a purely body count point of
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view, iraq is probably more dangerous under saddam hussein's since what we have seen it since 2003. he had such a tight grip on society, many people " disappeared" he did not have these random outbreaks like roadside bombs. you did not have drive-by shootings. people were afraid of what you would do. he had that type of a grip on society and he intimidated society. now with a free society and this new democracy, there's more freedom for insurgent to recap. host: lara jakes, the baghdad bureau chief for the associated press joining us live via skype. guest: it had been my pleasure. i hope your well. host: let me go back to her point that iran is funding the killings in iraq.
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guest: they have been providing support throughout the entire course of the war since 2003. that is part of the iranian influence. it is natural and it will always be there because of ties in the population. there has not been becoming yet, evidence that there are particularly dangerous weapons that were used to kill u.s. troops while they were very few years ago. we have not seen them yet in these kinds of attacks that al qaeda and iraq have been doing. host: we're focusing on the situation in i iraq and the series of bombings. the death toll is 115. our guest is nora bensahel, a senior fellow from center for a new american security, a
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master's and doctorate from stanford. on the phone line from york, good morning. caller: good morning. how are you doing? i personally believe we have never should have been involved in iraq to begin with. there are many dictators in the world today, and there were back then, but at least he was a secular dictator. he was not aligned with iran as now they are. this is part and parcel in relation to our involvement in these countries. we should not be involved there. we should be practicing more of a neutrality with our foreign policy. but we want to be involved in everybody's business and what happens there. i believe the christian population is escaping now because they're being persecuted. that was not the case during saddam hussein's.
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host: we will get a response. guest: that is the common view about the decision to go into a rock and the price that has been paid by u.s. personnel and iraqis who have been the primary victims of the violence. you cannot go back and rewrite history. the fact that the u.s. there was -- the u.s. was there for a long time and given the resources of blood and treasure, there will still be interest about what happens and how the political situation unfolds over time. host: how do respond to this viewer. there was no while qaeda there before we invaded and occupied? -- no al qaeda there? guest: that is a true statement. there was no al qaeda actions out in the public that we knew of. caller: good morning. let me remind everybody that
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the president of iraq asked us to leave their country. they are a sovereign nation. they should be allowed to take care of their business the way they choose. we have 50 million people here in our country that are threatened because of health and insurance that the republicans are promising to repeal, the affordable care act. if you die of a bullet in iraq or some undiagnosed along, the end result is the same. our people are dying. -- or some undiagnosed lump, the end result is the same. guest: there's a lot of opposition to our involvement. we still have strategic interests in what happens even though our people may not be on the ground and we do not have a lot of tools of influence over the iraqi government.
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if iraq were to go back to the worst days of violence and the all-out civil war, it would have significant regional spill over event and it would empower iran to a greater degree than it is now. while the u.s. will not be directly involved the way it has been in the past, iraq is still a very important place for the u.s. to watch. it will affect many other u.s. interests. host: some of the it news of the morning this morning. a developing story in syria with this story in from beirut.
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guest: the fighting has increased noticeably in the past few weeks. it has shifted from a lot of the rural areas of the country into a very concentrated population centers. it is very important not only because it is the largest city in syria but because it is the commercial center. it is an area where there has been a lot of support for at least the toleration of the assaad regime while people got about pursuing commercial interests. the fact that the violence is increasing their signals that assaad is increasing concerns about the way development is going and trying to crack down a prevent this from spreading in those major urban areas. it is not clear yet the degree to which they have had success. the news reports about fighting yesterday are unfortunately the opening salvo in this battle.
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host: and here is the headline. our native headlines perverting support to these troubles? -- are nato members providing support? guest: a have been efforts to engage with opposition members in syria politically to help them develop some transition plans in the case if assaad were to fall. ironically, iraq and syria are went in and number of ways. the u.s. has no appetite for doing anything directly on the ground in syria because it resembles a rack in a whole lot of ways in the nature of the conflict. the u.s. is very reluctant to get involved in any way having been through the 10-year experience in iraq. host: it is a power vacuum. we're also learning that u.s. officials are trying to work
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through if or when president assaad steps down or is ousted. what are the lessons from 2003? guest: to avoid as much of the power vacuum as possible. there was reporting today that u.s. officials have been working with the syrians explicitly contracting saying not to disband the security forces right away. reform them rather than completely shut them down and try to rebuild them. host: our guest is nora bensahel from center for a new american security. tom from cape cod. good morning. caller: thank you for c-span. as a person who has travelled across many arabic and muslim nations, the two women who work on the television this morning,
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what is a culturally about these men that live in these countries who want to oppress women and keep a society and culture that elevates men to great position where the women are basically enslaved to their husbands? guest: the answers to that are very complicated and very from country to country. all i would say is that it would trooper a whole lot of countries in the world until relatively recently in terms of world history. it is an enormously complicated cultural question. if you look at the span of history. women's rights and women's issues are eight fairly recent development. host: if you follow iraq, are there lessons we can apply to afghanistan? guest: the two countries are extremely different in the
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challenge. the most important lesson that can translate from a rack to afghanistan is the necessity of planning early before large numbers of u.s. troops withdraw for what that immediate transition will be like. i think there have been efforts particularly in the u.s. embassy and in the military headquarters preparing for that. this transition will be a little different. unlike iraq were there is agreement saying they all had to be out by december 2011, we have signed agreements with the government of afghanistan saying there will be some continuing u.s. presence after 2014, which had been set as the date u.s. troops will be coming home. we do not know how many. estimates have ranged from a few thousand to perhaps as much as 20,000. it's a little early to know how the politics will one bold. there will be some sort of a continued u.s. military presence
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to continue that training and advising mission, not necessarily during direct operations, but in order to help increase the capabilities of the afghan national security forces after the u.s. stops participating directly. host: when you wrote about the proven capacity for the stabilization and operations inside that country after said tom, what is the biggest mistake you think we made it? guest: there was a lot of wishful thinking and assumptions about how strong the iraqi state would be. you could get rid of saddam and there would be a state structure that people could then use to at least run the machinery of day- to-day politics, education, and all of that. there is a deliberate lack of planning at the very type --
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very highest level of the u.s. government that they had an assumption that the u.s. troops would be seen as liberators rather than occupiers. that was the language of the this administration prior to 2003. that assumption was never challenged in the planning. there was never any scenario planning as that ended up being wrong. those two assumptions, no contended she -- no contingency planning, so when they failed to come and they did so dramatically, the u.s. was caught unprepared for what happened next. that chaos and vacuum of power enabled in an insurgency. host: from staten island, new york. caller: bensahel? good morning. i just want to make a statement. you have been talking primarily about history.
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it is almost as if you are saying we, as individuals, were not privy to history before but we're watching it now. we're almost in a bubble of some sort whereas we do not want to get involved but we do not want to see the worst of what the past has shown us happening. you're making references to it. that is how i see the situation. maybe america should not be involved in all of these foreign wars. maybe we should sit back and watch to see what happens and approach it in a more comprehensive way. we were not around the last time these types of civil explosions happened. host: thank you for the call from new york. guest: i do not think any
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administration will make a blanket declaration to not get involved in large chunks of the world. the u.s., as a global power, does have interest. when the obama administration has done during his time in office has very wisely tried to calibrate the level of u.s. interest and what is at stake with the costs of becoming involved. one question of been raised about syria is how come the united states could participate in this air war over libya but is not unwilling to intervene in syria? even from a purely military perspective, leaving politics aside, there is a much, much more difficult military challenge. that is why i said it resembles a iraq much more than it resembles libya, which was a cleaner randy's your military campaign. in the administration going forward in this incredibly complicated security environment
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is going back to look at the specifics of each individual case and weigh the costs of acting versus the costs of not acting. the costs of not acting very often are very significant humanitarian costs which the u.s. traditionally does not like to bear. sometimes the cost there outweighed the benefits. host: response from one of our viewers. yet, in interviews, former president bush says he will judge success in i iraq if this is a bastion of democracy over the next 2030 years in the -- 20-30 years in the middle east. guest: their modeling through with politics. it has been incredibly unstable and it is part of what al qaeda in direct is hoping to do,
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destabilize the government even further. they did not think the government would be able to hang on even after it the government leaves. there's a lot of resilience in the political system. a possible outcome is that they will model all along and at some point in the longer term, they may have a less of authoritarian type of government. i think is a lot of democracy is unlikely. this is also possible they will revert to violence and the sectarian issues will rise again. there will be conflict. i think it is really too soon to know how that will play out. host: good morning from pensacola, fla. caller: 80 did give me a second to explain myself -- if you could give me a second to explain myself. they knew the risk of going in iraq. when you go against a country like that, you're going against
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the iran, afghanistan, and other entities as such. saddam hussein was a snake, but he was our state. he was not a poisonous snake. if you know anything about farming, you do not kill the harmless snakes because they kill pests. we killed the snake and then you had all these other small radical groups. i think they took that chance because they wanted to get the oil. that's my personal opinion. halliburton was there. if halliburton or any other contract company is still there making revenue of oil? guest: there are a lot of contractors. i do not know the details of halliburton is participation, but there are a lot of u.s. contractors and contractors mother countries during the reconstruction work and doing other things like providing
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personal security detail. host: dave from long island. good morning. caller: i had a couple of quick questions. the first i was curious about, i know of one. there was supposed to be a referendum, article 214 or what not? i'm curious what the status is with the election that is supposed to go on. if that does call into a kurdish majority, with the oil fields, and would that help the kuirrds break away and form their own state? with syria, if that really explodes into a mass of non- controlled civil war and becomes a regional, how would that affect iraq and that situation? thanks.
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guest: it has been a disputed city since the beginning of the war, even longer than that is directly. there's supposed to be a referendum and according to the constitution and has been perpetually put off because the citizens, the kurds, baghdad, all agree that to hold a referendum would increase violence for those who disagree with the results. that can has been continually kicked down the road and the situation deemed too unstable. there is pretty broad agreement on that. there's no one i'm aware of in the mainstream of the political discourse that is strongly advocating holding back. host: let me go back to this story from "the washington post."
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they have control of some neighborhoods but the fighting continues. guest: this that allows the potential to become extraordinarily bloody. this is one area where they do not want to lose control. it will lose the biggest city in syria. it also gives the opposition to hold territory and really be able to start planning and, in a serious way, for what happens after assaad and the regime will try to prevent that at all costs. this has the potential to get far, far worse before it gets better. host: new orleans is next on the independent line. caller: have a question. the western nations are trying to change a centuries-old political structures and systems in the middle east.
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everything the u.s. does is it pressure from israel. my question also is, the old saying goes is the u.s. is a good starter and an extremely poor finisher. we have seen this in somalia, iraq, now afghanistan. the u.s. and the west should be involved in the syrian issue. here's why. the syrian regime has not been defeated. syria is not iraq. they're completely different. two differences stems. the syrian regime needs to be defeated in the west should do everything in their power. this is spreading to other nearby nations. thank you.
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host: on his last point about spreading throughout the region, can you elaborate? guest: as the violence worsens, and i think it's clear that it will, that will have an effect on all states in the region. on iran, because syria is its primary ally. on iraq, because militants are blowing across the border. it is a twist on what happened in iraq where al qaeda inspired fighters were coming over from syria into iraq. a lot of them are now going back after being battle hardened in the fight against the u.s.. turkey is very concerned. the levin on as always in a fragile political situation and has the potential to take on a tremendous number of refugees. jordan is of your ban-lon of refugees. -- it is absorbing a huge
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number of refugees. i want to go back to the bursting the caller said. it is well known among students of military history that starting wars is easier than ending them. that's one reason you're seeing some much caution, particularly after just having gone through the experience of iraq. these two are very different in terms of culture, the tribes, and the dynamic. i did not revisit just there were similar in that way. in terms of intervening in stopping conflict, it is reminiscent of what the u.s. faced. host: we will leave it on the point. nora bensahel with the center for a new american security, thank you for joining us. it is the final week in congress before the august recess and the party conventions. it's a busy week. you can watch it all unfold on the c-span networks. tomorrow, talking about what to expect with the bush era tax cuts in the house and senate
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action on a number of nominations. then, our attention to medicaid programs in all 50 states with one of the senior correspondent from kaiser health news. dan richard williams, former administrator of the fda, looking up food safety issues. it never restaurant george mason. "washington journal" every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. thank you for joining us on this sunday. enjoy the rest of your weekend. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]

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